Street photography with a 70-200 lens
I can safely say this is not the first lens that springs to mind with a street photographer. Shooting street photography with a 70-200 lens with what is a formidable piece of equipment and why shouldn’t it be a worthy to have in your bag when you are exploring the streets.
The Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 IS USM II
That’s a mouthful, Canon don’t go for simple model names but we are all used to this aren’t we!
It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s white and it’s spectacular what more can be said, attatched to the Canon 5D mkiii it may not be the descrete 35mm rangefinder or mirrorless camera it becomes an imposing piece of photographic equipment doesn’t it and that can be to our advantage.
On the street with a telephoto lens
It brings a new dimension to street photography with a 70-200 lens it’s like a ‘time machine’ or maybe a ‘teleporter’ lol, we can shift to another point view without moving, we can pick out details out of reach, we can isolate a subject we can compress, it’s all fun and as an escape from commercial photography work that’s the whole point of exploring the less obvious we have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
I have shot with telephoto lenses in the past my EF 135mm f/2 is a wonderful prime lens it’s amazingly sharp and the bokeh is something I love. The 70-200 is a different animal altogether it has flexibility in composition especially when it’s busy, not that I mind walking to the best location it’s more often a fleeting opportunity and is gone as soon as it appeared. In many ways shooting with prime lenses is a better discipline so to speak, you preempt rather than react.
Putting distance between ourselves and our subjects changes the relationship and interaction it gives us a degree of annominity separating us. Photography isn’t a pure science we can change the rules and it’s good to break away from the expected, working with a 70-200 in crowds is challenging and in many ways this is why we do it to hopefully be just that little bit different from the next person shooting on the same street.
With so many people taking photographs with their smart phones the entire genre of street photography has been changed. A quick look on Flickr, Instagram or Facebook and we see a vast selection of photographs that were once only held as personal records by visitors and tourists with their point and shoot cameras seldom see by anyone other than the photographer. To me this has been one if the greatest changes I’ve seen it brings photography to everyone though not everyone is a photographer the times are recorded like never before and being different is the new challenge to those dedicated to the art of street photography as a passion.
The weeks ahead
With summer just around the corner Edinburgh starts to fill with tourist and street performers, this cultural city is my preferred location for street photography and where you blend in more than in other cities. The multicultural aspect of a city brings new opportunities and in many ways it feels more like you are actually on holiday rather than 25mins from home.
The cafes and bars that proliferate across the city people are often my subjects of interest, the little street markets start to pop up and these are usually themed in some way or another providing a constantly shifting landscape of photographic opportunity and it is on my door step a blessing if ever there was one and not to be missed.
This article is a work in progress and rather than creating new posts I will be adding to this one keeping the information in one article so please check back.